Employment among senior women grows in South Korea
Retiring at 60? Not so for an increasingly number of South Korean women, who are choosing to stay employed through their golden years.
According to Statistics Korea, the number of salaried women in their 60s reached 1.91 million in June 2023, reflecting an 8.2% increase compared to 2022. This figure surpassed the combined total of women in their 60s engaged in full-time homemaking or childcare, which stood at 1.71 million.
While the number of women caring for grandchildren increased by 3,000 to 33,000, the number of full-time housewives in their 60s decreased by 17,000 from 2022, totalling 1.67 million. The labour force participation rate for individuals aged 60 and above reached 48.2% in June 2023. In 2022, 68.5% of individuals between the ages of 55 and 79 expressed a desire to find employment in the future.
The social welfare sector has experienced a surge in employment opportunities for women in their 60s, with approximately 375,000 individuals currently employed in this field. This segment constitutes nearly 20% of the working women in the same age group.
The rise in employment among elderly women has contributed to a broader increase in female employment rates, which reached 55.1%. Compared to 2022, an additional 332,000 women joined the workforce, and 145,000 of them, accounting for 43%, were in their 60s.
This trend is expected to continue amid South Korea’s rapidly ageing population. In 2022, over nine million individuals, accounting for 17.5% of the population, were aged 65 or older, reported The Korean Times. By 2025, this age group is predicted to exceed 20% of the population, turning South Korea into a super-aged society as classified by the United Nations.